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Wes Mitchell

February 2015

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Wes Mitchell  --- » 040 » 160

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Your Name: Mel
OOC Journal:[personal profile] spotters_guide
Under 18? If yes, what is your age?: over!
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Characters Played at Ataraxion: Stiles Stilinski, Jasper Jordan

Name: Wes Mitchell
Canon: Common Law
Original or Alternate Universe: original
Canon Point: post episode 1x09
Number: 160

Setting: Common Law is set in modern day Los Angeles. Wes and Travis both work as detectives for the LAPD... that's about it, really. Pretty straight forward.

History: Before becoming Travis' partner in the Robbery and Homicide division of the LAPD, Wes was a lawyer; a very good lawyer, in fact, the youngest partner in his firm. He met Alex through his work, and they were eventually married, but it couldn't last after a client's suicide caused Wes a crisis of faith. He quit the firm to become a detective instead, convinced that he could do more good that way. Unfortunately Alex had never signed on to be married to a cop, and between that and Wes' own (numerous) issues, their marriage began to suffer.

Wes and Travis first met in a sharpshooting competition (which Wes won, Travis). However with Travis working Narcotics and Wes in Missing Persons, it wasn't until two years later when they discovered they had the same theory about a rash of murders and ran down the case together that they became partners. Despite being two very different people, this partnership proved to be more or less harmonious.

Or at least, it did until the man that had been responsible for introducing them in the first place was killed. and the man who was responsible for his death managed to walk free after a witness disappeared.

Which brings us to the start of the show, when Wes and Travis are ordered to go to couple's therapy after Wes was forced to pull a gun on Travis to keep him from drawing his own weapon on their friend's murderer.

At first Wes proves to be incredibly resistant to the therapy, refusing to participate in group sessions and trying to ditch their counselor more than once when she follows them around for a day. Dr. Ryan tells him that her group sessions always benefit from someone like him, "the asshole" in Wes' own words, to help stir up the pot, but admits to not having much luck treating "the asshole". Despite Wes telling her that her reverse psychology isn't going to work, he does start putting more of an effort into the sessions, learning intimate details of Travis' life outside the job and buying a new car with Travis' wishes in mind as well.

(Even if he goes on to say that he's not quite willing to give up any of his tightly wrought control just yet.)

Wes' ex-wife Alex, as well as his inability to move on from her, becomes a topic of conversation in the therapy group on several occasions. Despite being divorced for over a year, Wes hasn't dated, lives in a hotel, and stops by his old house regularly to help with maintenance, pest control, etc. Alex even jokingly comments that they have joint custody of the lawn at one point. Or not so jokingly, seeing as how Wes stops by to take care of it any time he's feeling stressed or anxious.

All of this winds up coming to a head when a case Wes and Travis are investigating centered around an online dating site and Wes discovers that Alex has a profile on the site. Wes eventually manages to take the first step to letting her go when he gives her the name of a handyman and promises to keep his nose out of her dating life. Later he takes an even further step by agreeing to go on a date himself, though he soon puts a stop to it when he discovers that the woman has a fiance.

When issues of trust are brought up in therapy, Wes points out that trust has never been a problem for him or Travis. If they didn't trust each other, they wouldn't be able to work and, at least professionally, he isn't wrong. Wes shuts down Travis' old partner hard when they try talking Travis down and encourage Wes to drop him. He also stands behind Travis when a suspect in a case winds up being one of his old foster brothers, taking the shot to take him down so that Travis doesn't have to.

Personally on the other hand, Wes proves to still need a bit of work in the trust department, and the next few topics in therapy (and work) wind up helping to smooth down a few more of those rough patches.

A little experimentation with "roleplaying", wherein Travis pretends to be Wes and vice versa, gives Wes not only the opportunity to let off a bit of steam, but also to understand that as much as he might like to complain about Travis, the two of them really do compliment each other. Wes keeps Travis alive, and Travis keeps Wes from getting lost in his own head.

Which is something that proves to be a genuine problem for Wes when a stakeout situation forces the two of them to live together temporarily. After bottling up his every frustration with Travis over the week, only to finally explode at their next therapy session, Travis calls him out on this, as well as the fact that Wes hasn't been supporting his theories about the case. Wes promises to be more communicative in the future, the good and the bad.

The two wind up taking on a shared responsibility when they get temporary joint custody of a police dog, which they have to work together on, rather than simply around each other instead. This also has the added benefit of exposing Wes to more things outside his comfort zone, as well as doggy cuddles which, let's be honest, Wes has been desperately in need of for awhile now.

Not that any of this means that either of them are miraculously cured of all their issues though, not by a long shot. Simply that they've learned how to work around said issues now, where they need to offer support and there they need to fall back. They're getting better, they're not fixed.

They still haven't even addressed the reason they got sent to therapy in the first place, after all.


Simplified down to it's smallest part, this isn't an altogether inaccurate analysis of Wes' character. He can be terse, reserved, highly critical, and incredibly loathe to give up any sort of control, be it of himself or a situation. Wes is incredibly protective of his space and what's in it, up to and including the exact temperature a room should be set at, and he takes all of this very seriously.

He doesn't like sharing any details of himself or his feelings, and winds up bottling up negative feelings rather than express them, only for these feeling to explode later on instead. There's a reason Travis always plays Bad Cop when they're handling a suspect and that's because Wes wouldn't be playing. This emotional shrapnel usually winds up hitting Travis, since he's the most constant and consistent thing in Wes' life anymore.

Wes is also a perfectionist and while first and foremost he applies these expectations to himself (and when he inevitably fails for setting his goals too high, it only grants him to opportunity for more guilt-- I'll get to that in a bit) he also expects the same of his fellow coworkers and has no qualms with calling them out when they fall short, thus successfully alienating most of his coworkers.

His OCD doesn't help matters any here, either. While Wes doesn't appear to have an extreme case, he does keep hand wipes and sanitizer on him at all times, insists on a meticulously clean car and working environment, clicks his pens several times before using them, and relies on routines to derive comfort when he's feeling anxious or stressed. Yard work has proven to be his favored method of de-stressing, to the point that Alex gave him "joint custody" of her lawn after they divorced.

It's when you start to look at the motivations behind his behavior, however, that you start to get a real idea of what sort of person Wes Mitchell is. And their couple's counselor Dr. Ryan pretty much hits the nail right on the head here:

Because the thing is, a big part of what makes Wes Wes is the guilt. It all started with the suicide of his client when he was still a lawyer, followed by the failure of his marriage with Alex... each new failure just compounding on top of the last and Wes blaming every single one of them on himself.

I wasn't joking about him being a perfectionist. Wes craves control in an attempt to avoid further failure in his life, and anything less than perfect is a failure in Wes' eyes.

Wes is, at his base element, a deeply committed person. This commitment took him far as a lawyer, took him far as a detective. For all the failures that Wes can see in himself, he's accomplished a lot for his age through drive and determination. He's refused very generous offers from his old law firm to come back because he believed that what he was doing was right, that the world needed good cops more than it needed good lawyers. And he would know, wouldn't he? He's done both.

On the other hand, this single minded drive does lead to Wes being a bit lost about other things in life. He's notoriously bad at reading people outside of a crime scene, can't recognize when a girl is interested in him, and winds up getting confused by social cues like "bro code", even if he is a fast learner on the last point. He doesn't talk to a lot of people outside of work or Alex, so normal conversations with Wes have a tendency to turn a bit awkward on his part.

That commitment also winds up coming through strongly with the people in his life too. Or at least, the important ones. All two of them.

Alex is another sign of his failures, perhaps one of the biggest ones. He loved her (still loves her honestly, will probably never stop, even if he has finally let her go) and where Travis might be with a new girl every week, Wes is the complete opposite. He won't do one night stands and commitment is an almost unshakeable thing for him.

A year and a half after the divorce papers were signed and Wes hadn't dated once, still came around the house to do chores. Five years working side by side with Travis and Wes was willing to go to couple's counseling, something he didn't even do with his wife, to try and save their partnership.

Because for all that Wes and Travis fight like cats and dogs, their partnership is incredibly important to him.

Wes will bitch and moan about Travis, to Travis, all day long, but only he's allowed to talk about his partner that way. He trusts Travis to have his back, and will always have Travis' (even if he still doesn't trust Travis enough to tell him anything more personal than his weight in grams).

He'll also drop what he's doing in the middle of the night to drive to Travis' to pick up a dog just so Travis can have a little alone time with a girl, so despite anything Wes might want you to think, he's actually a bit of a pushover. Because he wants people to be happy with him, even if he's typically very bad at managing that for long.

He's both physically and emotionally protective of Travis, rushing to his side when he thought Travis was shot and taking the shot on Travis' foster brother so that Travis didn't have to. This protective streak will extend to people he doesn't even know as well, and Wes can be almost startlingly empathetic to strangers' plights or worries. He winds up having a very firm argument with Travis at one point about "innocent until proven guilty" and stands behind that belief even in the face of Travis' dismissal.

In a bit of a contrast to everything else, Wes can actually prove to be a bit charming and witty when he's not caught in a situation that's making him feel defensive and antagonistic (every therapy session, most conversations with Travis).

Whereas Travis tends to make enemies with women after he's slept with them, Wes proves to have an easy time forming friendly, comfortable friendships with women like Jonelle (the coroner), Kendall (tech geek), and even his own ex, Alex. (Not to mention the mysterious friend from school that lets him stay at the hotel for a significantly discounted price.)

When meeting new people who aren't suspected criminals (or part of his therapy group) Wes is polite, friendly, and genuine; which strangely enough most people seem to appreciate. And well, his face can't be hurting his efforts at making friends any either, at that.

Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:

+Detail oriented/observant: Wes doesn't just have a high IQ, he knows how to use it. With a meticulous mind, Wes doesn't miss anything, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential.

+Sharpshooter: Wes can spell words with bullet holes in a target. He's that good.

+Parkour: despite wearing, as Wes put it in one episode, "big boy shoes" Wes has no trouble keeping up with Travis when they're chasing down criminals and actually tends to be the one of the two who will do things like run part way up a wall or jump over a car.

+I also speak law: Wes was a lawyer before he was a detective. He knows his stuff, basically.

-Bottles up emotions: Wes tends to come across as the more reserved of the pair at first glance, but that's only because he prefers to push all of his frustration down until it bubbles up and explodes, usually on Travis.

-Clings to control: Wes needs control. He tends to call a lot of the shots on cases, defended the temperature settings for the apartment he and Travis were using for a stakeout like his life was on the line, and only likes people touching him when he initiates.

-Over think himself: Wes has a tendency to get stuck in his own head and can fail to act at all without a gentle (or not so gentle) push.

-Leery of intimacy: Wes doesn't date, doesn't like being touched, and doesn't like sharing personal details of his life with other people.

-OCD: Wes is very clearly shown to have OCD in the show. He keeps hand sanitizer and wipes on him constantly, clicks his pen multiple times before using it, and has certain rituals (such as caring for Alex's lawn) that he can derive some measure of comfort from.

-Perfectionist: Wes demands not only perfection in himself, but those around him as well, which winds up alienating a lot of his coworkers.

-Can't read people outside of crime scene: this includes women trying to hit on him.


Wes Mitchell is portrayed by Warren Kole

Age: 35

AU Clarification: n/a

Log Sample:
If he was honest with himself, Wes hadn't honestly expected anyone in space to be any more impressed with his 73,000 grams nonsense than Dr. Ryan had been, but that hadn't stopped him from trying anyway.

He understood that there was supposed to be a sort of bond between them all from being abducted by the same people (or entity... Wes wasn't very clear on the details for that just yet) but why did that mean he was required to tell anyone things that most days Wes didn't even like telling himself?

He didn't like talking about himself, didn't like people paying too much attention to him, he most certainly didn't like people touching--- Wes uses the excuse of receiving a message on his communicator to duck out of reach of an inquiring (invasive) hand to his shoulder. He's already coming up with reasons to leave this whole uncomfortable situation when he actually reads the message and almost drops his comms.

They'd all been more on edge since the latest scare, and Wes had tried to impress the need to be careful on Travis, but he should have remembered that Travis never listened and now he didn't even know where Travis was because the message was cut off...

Wes doesn't even bother giving an excuse when he turns and starts to run. He can apologize later, finding Travis came first.

Comms Sample: [video]

[it's late, and wes is tired. he looks it too, hair mussed and eyes a little dim, expression drawn. a dog barks behind him, a whine, and a german shepard (that some people might recognize as normally being seen in travis' company) noses in next to his head for a moment, clearly agitated, before wheeling away to bark at the door again.

wes appears to be so very done with all of this.

I'm Detective Wes Mitchell with the LAPD and that-- [moving the communicator to focus on the still barking dog behind him briefly before bringing it back to continue] --is Hudson. Hudson is a fully trained police dog in Narcotics, which means that if someone is smoking Marijuana on this floor then none of us are getting any sleep.

Now obviously I don't have any jurisdiction in... space. [a pause. it's not clear whether it's the space part or the jurisdiction, but clearly he's unhappy with some part of what he just said.] So I'm not telling any of you to do anything.

I'm asking that you take it to a different floor so Hudson doesn't have a nervous breakdown.

[hudson's not the only one on the way to a nervous breakdown, either. wes frowns down at the comms for another two beats before exhaling tersely and thumbing it off without another word.]
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